Leadership – Managing Consultant
Iryna Akulenka is a qualified Engineer with 14 years of experience, including seven years of managing construction and engineering projects, and more recently, in contractual claims preparation and defence as well as dispute work (expert work and alternative dispute resolution). Iryna is a Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and acts as an arbitrator in construction disputes.
Iryna specialises in contracts and quantum and is known for her ability to quickly get to the root of the issues and develop strong arguments whilst keeping an eye on detail. Prior to joining HKA, Iryna has held project management positions with consultancies in the United Arab Emirates, and has been responsible for managing the commercial, financial, and technical delivery aspects of numerous design and construction projects, whilst also developing client relationships in the Middle East, North Africa and CIS countries. This experience, coupled with a broad skillset, has enabled Iryna to smoothly transition into contractual claims and dispute resolution, assisting clients in any facet of contractual disputes in the infrastructure, construction, oil & gas, and energy sectors.
Her experience includes many prestigious projects throughout the Middle East and beyond (Algeria, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom), including buildings, power (geothermal, gas-fired, combined-cycle gas turbine), transport infrastructure, oil & gas and manufacturing.
Iryna is the Vice Chair of the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the faculty on the International Arbitration pathway.
Iryna is a frequent speaker at various events and conferences in the ADR field. She also provides training in cost planning, project controls, procurement, claims and disputes, and contract administration.
Five Star Resort, Dubai, UAE (2020)
Provided expert advice on the contractual and quantum merit of the Contractor’s claims for extension of time and prolongation, and prepared an advice note to the Employer for the purpose of negotiation and settlement of the dispute.
Prepared a claim against the Consultant/ the Engineer for various breaches of its contractual obligations and responsibilities that led to critical delays on the project and further resulted in various losses and damages to the Employer.
Hotel and Mall Development, Dubai, UAE (2020)
HKA is representing a major Contractor (the Claimant) in an ICC arbitration against the Developer (the Respondent). Various issues are in dispute, including a claim for extension of time and associated costs, cost claim for late issuance of the taking over certificate, and a claim for the money due under the contractor’s statement at completion. Prepared the Claimant’s reply to the Respondent’s defence in relation to quantum matters.
Five Star Resort, Dubai, UAE (2016)
Provided expert advice on the contractual and quantum merit of the Consultant’s claims.
Hotel/Serviced Apartments, Dubai, UAE (2015-2016)
Carried out a detailed investigation of the delay events, focusing on cause and effect, and prepared detailed claim narratives including contractual argument establishing liability for the events, and assessment of the Contractor’s entitlement to an extension of time and prolongation costs.
Landmark Entertainment Development, Dubai, UAE (2015)
Provided advice on the contractual merits of the Subcontractor’s claims and assisted the client’s counsel in responding to the Subcontractor’s time and cost claim.
Underground Oil Storage Facility, Location Confidential (2020)
Initially advised the client on a comprehensive claim strategy for the project including mitigation of the delay liquidated damages risk and application of the law to make up for the weaknesses of the contractual entitlement.
Taking into consideration the approved claim strategy, the client then opted to undertake preparation of a position paper, for which, in coordination with the wider team, prepared productivity analysis for both critical and subcritical path. Also provided advice in relation to COVID-19 events, as well as recovery of costs associated with critical delay events.
Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development Project, Malaysia (2019)
Prepared a submission for recovery of costs associated with changes in the works (a total of twenty change orders). Also assessed Subcontractor’s claim for extension of time prolongation and disruption and assisted the client during adjudication proceedings.
Upper Zakum 750 Islands Surface Facilities Project, UAE (2019)
Evaluated Subcontractor’s claim for extension of time prolongation and disruption and provided advice on reducing quantum of the claim for negotiation purposes.
Lower Fars Heavy Oil Development Program Phase-1 (LFHO), Kuwait (2018-2019)
Prepared an extension of time and compensation claim, for a number of delay events, including contractual entitlement to claim and detailed narratives of the events. Advised on contractual and quantum merit of numerous Subcontractors’ claims for extension of time, prolongation, acceleration, disruption and additional works.
Mina Abdulla Clean Fuels project, Kuwait (2018-2019)
Prepared a number of updates for an interim application for an extension of time claim and advised on contractual merit of a Subcontractor’s claim for extension of time and prolongation costs. Parties entered into settlement negotiations.
In Salah Gas Southern Fields Project, Algeria (2017-2019)
Produced an extension of time and additional costs claim suitable for direct submission to the Employer. Complex and contentious issues have arisen on the project in relation to delays and cost overruns so provided solutions to demonstrate the Contractor’s entitlement to extension of time and reimbursement of costs.
Jazan Refinery, Saudi Arabia (2017-2019)
Produced an extension of time and additional costs claim which included disruption and prolongation analysis. Parties entered into settlement negotiations.
Petro Rabigh Tank Farm, Saudi Arabia (2017-2018)
Prepared a document for direct submission to the Employer for recovery of acceleration costs.
Galloper Wind Farm Project, UK (2017-2018)
Valued the final account and provided an expert opinion on the Subcontractor’s variations and claims for prolongation, acceleration and disruption. Supported the client’s legal team in advancing various heads of counterclaims (including but not limited to LDs, and incomplete and defective work). Supported the client in the settlement negotiations with the other party, eventually leading to amicable settlement.
Badra Oil Field, Iraq (2017-2019)
Prepared an extension of time and compensation claim for a total of 22 delay events, including contractual entitlement to claim and detailed narratives of the events. The dispute has now been settled.
SARB3 Field Development Project, UAE (2017-2018)
Supported the client by improving their earlier submission for extension of time and recovery of associated costs.
Airport Cargo and MRO Facilities, Middle East (2020)
Developed claims for recovery of costs/damages due to unlawful termination, for the purposes of negotiating a settlement. Includes carrying out a detailed investigation in conjunction with the client’s project team, preparing the particulars to support each head of claim, and defending counterclaims from the Employer.
POWER & UTILITIES
Potable Water Supply Project, Saudi Arabia (2021)
Prepared a number of claims under a concession contract. These included claims for an extension of time and associated costs, other financial claims, and a claim for a deemed completion on a certain date.
Power Plant, South Africa (2019)
Assisted the lead expert in investigations in relation to preparation of an independent expert report as to the fair and reasonable value of the works performed by the Contractor.
Geothermal Power Plant, Kenya (2016)
HKA was initially appointed to provide expert claim services on two contract packages of the project. Following unsuccessful negotiations between the contract parties, HKA was retained by the client to provide further services in preparation for, and subsequent attendance at, the DAB hearing for one of the contract packages. Prepared the client’s rebuttal to the other party’s response to referral and provided contract and quantum advice on various matters in dispute.
Saudi Cogeneration Projects, Saudi Arabia (2015-2016)
Responsibilities included establishing the client’s contractual, technical, and quantum position in relation to various heads of claim. Carried out a detailed investigation of the delay events, focusing on cause and effect, and prepared detailed claim narratives including contractual argument establishing liability for the events, and the client’s entitlement to an extension of time and associated costs. Also carried out a disruption and prolongation analysis.
NGL Recovery Plant, Saudi Arabia (2015)
Responsibilities included establishing client’s contractual, technical, and quantum position by examining project issues, establishing causation, and assessing loss, expense, and damages. Carried out a quantum analysis and prepared claim narratives. Reviewed the existing claims and, where necessary, amended relevant issues and presented the claim in a more persuasive manner.
- BE, Electrical Engineering, Gomel State Technical University named after P.O. Sukhoy, Belarus
- MSc, Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, BUiD in Association with King’s College London, UK
- Arbitration Practice & Procedure and Arbitral Award Writing (Distinction), Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK
- RICS Registered Expert Witness
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Arbitrator, DIAC, ARBME, IAC, TIAC, LCIA and DIFC-LCIA
- Registered Arbitrator, LCIA and DIFC-LCIA
- Vice Chair, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UAE Branch
- Regional Representative for MENA and Member, Russian Arbitration Association (RAA40)
- Member, Global Advisory Board, ICDR Y&I
- Member, Advisory Board for the School of Engineering, American University in Dubai
- Member, Advisory Group, Faculty of Business & Law, British University in Dubai
- Member, Society of Construction Law
- Member, ArbitralWomen
- Member, International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum
- Member, Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration
- Member, Arbitrator Intelligence
- Member, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre
- Member, Caspian Arbitration Society
- Member, AIAC Young Practitioners Group
PRESENTATIONS & SPEAKER ENGAGEMENTS
- “The increasing role of expert evidence in infrastructure disputes: A necessary evil?”, 9th ICC MENA Conference, February 2021
- “Building ties with academia”, Women in Construction Summit, ME Consultant, November 2020
- “Women who build”, Roundtable Discussion, Drees & Sommer, February 2020
- “YSIAC-ADGM advocacy workshop”, SIAC – ADGM Arbitration Conference 2020, February 2020
- “Women’s leaders in arbitration”, IAEE & CPR International Conference, December 2019
- “Experts should only be appointed by the parties”, Oxford Style debate, DIFC-LCIA symposium, Dubai Arbitration Week, November 2019
- “The impact of the great lockdown on construction industry arbitrations”, Webinar, ICDR, May 2019
- “Women in ADR special”, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Event, April 2019
- “Finding alpha: diversity in international construction arbitration: from DABs to tribunals”, 7th ICC MENA Conference, March 2019
- “Expertise: A woman’s no man’s land?”, 6th ICC MENA Conference, May 2018
- “Women in arbitration”, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Event, March 2018